Aside from the fourth line, the New York Rangers should be embarrassed for not being able to defeat the Flyers in a game in which Henrik Lundqvist played his best game of the season and made 46 saves.
They were outplayed and outmatched from beginning to end, and could not overcome the massive amount of pressure the Flyers had on them.
The Rangers would strike first when Jody Shelley scored a little more than three minutes in. Assists went to Rozsival and Anisimov.
From there it all went south, as the Rangers could not get any offensive flow going, and that would be their downfall.
Every Flyers fan will admit that Brian Boucher has been terrible. He was not terrible this afternoon, but then again, we really don’t have a large enough sample space to judge him by. The Rangers mustered up a mediocre 25 shots in regulation and overtime.
The Flyers then pounded the Rangers with every chance they had, outshooting them in every period, for a game total of 47. They had the pressure in the second half of the first period, and the entire second and third periods.
P.A Parenteau, who has been a career AHLer, showed why this afternoon. He took two lazy penalties, with the second leading to the Flyers tying goal by Matt Carle, assists going Carter and Briere. He had no jump in his step and no work ethic at all.
As the game continued to overtime, the pressure mounted. Lundqvist continued to stand on his head, but the miserable Rangers could not help him out by getting one more measly goal. With all of Gaborik’s greatness, I have to ask, did he even play tonight? Did not notice him one shift.
So then the game went to a shootout, and I guess I ended up jinxing myself when I tweeted, “If the Rangers lose, I hope to God it’s in overtime, and not a shootout, an event that should not even be in the game. It would be a travesty for a playoff spot to come down to one.”
Low and behold, after a fairly uneventful overtime, the game went to a shootout.
The Flyers elected to go first, and Briere got them on the board. After misses by Christensen and Richards, Parenteau would redeem himself and score the tying goal. But the happiness did not last long as Claude Giroux got it right back.
The Rangers season then came down to one shot, on the stick of Olli Jokinen, a player who should not have even been put in that situation. He came in on Boucher quickly, and deftly tried to slide it along the ice between the goalie pads, but it failed and the Rangers lost—the Flyers advancing to the playoffs, and the Rangers going home for the summer.
Perhaps this is the wakeup call that this franchise needs, and maybe in the long run, missing the playoffs will be for the better. However, for the moment, it is highly frustrating and saddening to not see Lundqvist walk away with a win in this one. Everyone should be ashamed of themselves.
On a side note, Shelley and Prust just secured themselves a contract for next season and Jokinen just purchased himself a ticket the hell out of New York. I’ve wanted Tortorella fired for months now, and I guess I will keep that same opinion. Something needs to happen though, but just firing Sather will do nothing.
Keep everyone, or clean the house of everyone. When you want to get rid of a hornet’s nest, you don’t go up to it with bug spray and shoot the outside of it; you take a torch and destroy the whole thing.
It was a real pleasure covering the Rangers for all of you, once again, in this, my second full season writing about hockey. Will get my first round playoff predictions up by Wednesday, and other than that, I will be on hiatus from the Rangers for a few weeks until there is actually something to write about.
Many thanks for all the reads, and I wish everyone the best. Please enjoy the playoffs, even if our boys aren’t playing in them.
Please check out my sports blog, "From New York to San Francisco" .